Not all quality home-cooked meals have to be made completely from scratch. To enjoy Korean food at home with minimal time investment, a variety of pre-made food packages will come in handy.
Together with chef Jason Oh of Seoul-based Nam Yeong Chicken, the Korea JoongAng Daily will introduce three recipes in the coming weeks for simple dishes that only require a couple of store-bought products.
Most Koreans make suyuk, or simmered pork, with pork belly meat for the utmost tenderness with its layers of pork fat. But to create more more texture, a portion of gabrisal, or pork loin, should do the trick.
Making suyuk is simple, as it is basically a boiled chunk of pork that has been sliced up. To add more flavor and remove any unpleasant smell from the pork, some local chefs in Korea boil the meat in beef broth. But since making beef broth itself takes hours or even days, store-bought beef broth, usually called gomtang, can easily be substituted at home to cut down on cooking time.
Koreans generally eat the boiled pork with fresh-made kimchi or salted oysters. It’s easy to make ssam (food wrapped in lettuce or seaweed) with the meat at home, as long as there are some some lettuce, kkaennip (perilla leaves) or other leafy greens.
Ssamjang, which is the sauce (jang) eaten with ssam, can also easily be found at any supermarket. To add more flavor and texture, you can add onions and pyogo beoseot (shiitake mushrooms).
Adding some minced garlic also gives a nice touch of extra flavor.
Ingredients: 400 grams of gabrisal (pork loin), packet of gomtang (beef broth, store-bought), 10 grams of salt, 150 grams of ssamjang (sauce, store-bought), two pyogo beoseot (shiitake mushrooms), one onion, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of cooking oil, a table spoon of corn syrup
Optional: lettuce or other leafy greens, salted oysters, garlic
Pour the store-bought beef broth into a pot and add a dash of salt.
Add the pork loin to the broth and bring to a boil. Once the broth starts to boil, turn down the heat. Boil for 20 minutes.
While the pork is being cooked, dice the onion and shiitake mushrooms.
Stir fry the onion and shiitake mushrooms in a heated pan coated with cooking oil and sesame oil.
When the onion turns color, add ssamjang and corn syrup to make a sauce.
When 20 minutes are up, take the pork out and cut into slices.
Put the pork on a plate alongside the ssamjang sauce. Eat with salted oysters or lettuce as you like.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]